QCOSS CEO Mark Henley and Senior Manager Policy, Advocacy and Capacity Laura Barnes discuss the theme for the 2018 QCOSS State Conference - Movement for change.


This year's conference is about movement for change we actually want to make sure it's something that's really aspirational something that goes beyond some of the conversations that we hear every day by politicians by the media which is about when they talk about welfare recipients when they talk about asylum seekers and they talk about building community and let's talk about what we can about creating a really good vision and a positive frame for the future I guess what we know is that the stories that we tell ourselves and we tell each other about the world impact the future that we create the issues conference movement for change is all about changing those stories is about telling ourselves different things about our communities about focusing on our strengths not our weaknesses on focusing on the positives not the negatives on folk on talking together about how we work together to create change and create the future that we all want. I think that's exactly what we want to do is actually talk about the good things that can happen in communities and are happening in communities let's build on that let's take a lead on the future let's take a lead on what we want for our communities we work in the community services sector we work within communities let's get people who are engaged in communities let's take a lead let's change the conversation let's make it a much more positive one one that's inclusive one that we want to build on some things that's so positive that everyone wants to be part of. And I guess we think the time is right the time is now if you look around in the media in the politician and and the speech that politicians give as Mark said what we're seeing is two different stories emerged one is around the demonization one is a story around dole bludgers, of refugees that are coming to steal our jobs you know that kind of demonization but at the same time there's a real positive story emerging from communities as people and communities are putting up their hands and they're saying actually we want to do this differently we want to work together we want to create a positive future so it feels to us like the time is right and 2018 is the year to start the movement for change that starts us on a positive track to work to a better future for all of us for everybody in our communities I think the community sector as Mark said too is perfectly placed to lead that to lead that change our our mandates give us good connections into communities our work gives us we touch everybody in communities and therefore can work positively together but we can only do it together and so this conference is about starting a share story about starting a shared vision for the future and about building some evidence as well as starting to understand what actions we can all take into the future so starting to explore ideas that actions we can take as individuals but can also take us communities as service providers as governments and across the board and together work together for for change for a more positive future. I think one of the things that's very evident is it's not just the community services sector that's looking for something more aspirational in our communities time and time again I hear people in the business sector private sector who arejust saying we actually want to take a lead we're over the conversations that we don't have confidence in government policy generally that's happening out there we need to take a lead and they're looking to the community services sector so let's take a lead on this let's lead a conversation we need to take it right across the state we need to take it into every community that we possibly can across the state and make sure that it is something that will see and drive positive change.

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